You may have heard of the concept of an environmental “footprint”, or perhaps a “carbon footprint”, but now the Center for Sustainable Innovation has proposed measureing a company’s impact on society with a “social footprint” measurement. LOHAS article here. The concept builds on the Global Reporting Initiative and can be read about here.
- Sustainable Brands® Announces 2014 Innovation Open Semi-finalists
- OF THE SEA, a new film about seafood & sustainability launches on Kickstarter
- Global Reporting Initiative celebrates new era for non-financial information disclosure in the EU
- More Renewable Energy Needed to Avoid Catastrophic Climate Change
My collegue, Steve Kopfl has been engaging McDonald’s on their “CSR Blog” and asked them about their lack of a ‘fair trade cofee’ policy and their continued use of polystrene foam cups. The answer (see here) that was give, although thoughtful, seems to miss the point of what Steve was asking. Namely – that there are probably negative health effects steming from the use and manufacture of this type of cup. Also, that thicker paper cups, assuming they are from trusted sources like FSC certificed forests or post consumer recycling are not necesarily worse for the environment. Finally, they never responded at all to his question about Fair Trade Certified coffee. Seem like a missed opportunity on their part. Check it out here.
Wal Mart Stores plan to double their organic grocery offerings next month, in addition to a strong commitment to responsibly caught seafood and organic cotton in clothing (AP Article here). The best thing about this is the inevitable effect on Wal Mart’s massive supply chain – increasing the likelyhood that many other retailers and suppliers will follow their lead.
The assumption is still that organic is more costly, and is therefore part of a Wal Mart strategy to lure “more affluent” shoppers. Hopefully, however, with a move this sweeping, it will start to bring the price down for everyone, and expose Wal Mart’s regular clientelle to something a little more savory.
The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) has just put out a great digest on “campus sustainability news stories and resources from the past year”. It’s a great big PDF that you can download here containing hundreds of stories about various sustainable initiatives on university campuses, ranging from transportation to SRI, to Green Building. It’s great to hear about so many things going on at universities everywhere, and even better to see them all collected in one place!
There are few business leaders as well known as Ray Anderson in terms of having an epiphany about sustainability. Andersons’s company – Interface Carpet – is a leader in the quest to create a truly cradle to cradle company with a goal of having “Zero Impact” on the environment. I could go on and on, but for your weekend enjoyment, please listen to this BBC Rado interview and hear all about it. [Listen Here]
Environmental Defense Fund has put together a couple new public service messages about global warming. Both are very dramatic and feature children as key players – and the recipients of the negative consequences of climate change. They are quite high on the “doomsday” scale, which may very well be correct, but I wonder how much more doomsaying people need? That’s a fundamental question when it comes to educating the public about this sort of thing, and it’s possible that these ads might be very effective in generating public outcry. Anyway I much prefer the train video than the one with the series of kids. How about you?
[View the PSAs here]
Our own TriplePundit Chief Blogging Officer, Nick Aster, has gotten a fantastic quote on San Francisco’s largest newspaper, the SF Chronicle. It also mentions 3P’s fellow green blogs such as: Treehugger, Grist, Worldchanging, and City Hippy to name a few.
Read the article here.
The world is indeed changing and we are on the face of the wave!
At long last, the Dictionary of Sustainable Management is finally live. The dictionary is an open resource of business-related terms that deal with issues of sustainability. All definitions are open to comment. The project was spearheaded by students at the Presidio School of Management, and is hosted here on Triple Pundit. Enjoy!
If you have a blog, there is a special feature I’ve added that takes advantage of trackbacks. If you reference a particular term in a post, it will be noted at the bottom of the page for that term. This way, every term has an “official definition”, an open comments area, and a listing of recent usage in the blogosphere.
As reported by BSR, DuPont is making a concerted effort to move away from fossil fuel based materials, investing almost 10% of their billion-dollar-plus R&D budget into renewable, bio-based products. The line up includes corn-based fuels, plastics, and other materials. By 2010, the company says 25% of its work will be in bio- materials.
Why is population growth so often assumed to be a good thing? Is economic well-being really dependant on it? Here’s a little article on CNN about the latest US County data on population [LINK HERE]. The language the article uses makes out population growth to be some kind of competition – with a county in Florida proclaimed the “winner”. The article refers to a county in Georgia as having the “dubious distinction” of losing the most people.
The Economist recently laid out a pretty good article [3P Report Here] that argues pretty well that well-being of any kind ought not have anything to do with population growth. And, everyone is aware of the problems that rapid growth bring. I hope that in the future we’ll have a slightly saner way of looking at this sort of thing and see fewer articles like the CNN one referenced above.
Joel Makower, has this to say about the “Blended Value Proposition”:
Before you glaze over about yet another sustainability-minded catchphrase, consider that this brave new term is being bandied about in the nation’s top business schools — or, at least, those with sustainability programs. It’s been a featured topic in mainstream business and investing publications, and has been uttered by the venerable John Elkington, who coined “triple bottom line” in the first place.
Continues on Joel’s Site. (thanks Paul!)
This post is partly for the sake of amusement, but may have some useful points. Last night at an event, my collegue Pablo noticed that the locking mechanisms on the door were hot to the touch. Quite Hot. It turns out that the lock had a constant stream of electricity flowing through it in order to keep it engaged. In the event of a fire (or presumably a power outage) the door would lose its charge and unlock. But for the most part it just sits there heating up and wasting electricity. So we sat down and decided to figure out just how wasteful it was (I’ll withold the brand name). Here’s Pablo’s analysis:
The unit uses 8W 24hours day. kWh/year = .008kWh/h x 8760h =70.8kWh
Which, at $0.13/kWh: 70.8kWh x $0.13/kWh = $9.204/year per door
Nine bucks a year is pretty trivial, and surprisingly low given the heat coming off this thing, but it was a useful little exercise in noticing and analysing inefficiencies! Find enough 9 dollar items and you’ll eventually save a fortune.
Joining other leading states, Wisconsin governor Jim Doyle signed into law a bill to pave the way toward more green energy. “The Energy Efficiency and Renewables Act focuses on three areas: increasing the use of renewable energy in Wisconsin, promoting the development of renewable energy technologies, and strengthening the state’s energy efficiency programs to maximize their benefit.” Pretty good looking bill – read the official release here.
Rumor has it, one of the State Assembly speakers mentioned treehugger.com while the proceedings were underway. If you’re a state intern or have access to one, perhaps you could confirm?
According to a nifty radio show called “Beyond Organic” certain Wisconsin insurance companies are giving rebates to customers who buy their vegetables from local farms. There are also similar rebates to organic growers in Iowa. It sound’s too good to be true, but it’s happening and sound’s like great, unusually forward thinking by insurers who are, of course, making an investment in their customers’ good health. You can hear the radio show by clicking this link.
This is basically a novelty, but it’s also an amusing exercise in perspective. If you happen to use Firefox (which you should) and you’re comfortable installing Firefox extensions, then check out “Oil Standard“. It’s a plugin that will convert dollars to oil any time you browse a web page that has a price displayed somewhere on it. Not only that, but when you mouseover a price, you get a little news headline that’s got some relevance to the the oil industry, peak oil, etc…